WASHINGTON, MO. – A man accused of cutting down at least 150 trees along the Missouri River in Washington faces charges Monday morning.
Police said Perry Pecaut cut the trees which were along a nature trail on public, protected wetlands. He is now charged with two felony counts of first-degree property damage and two misdemeanor trespassing charges.
“A lot of the trees had overgrowth, vines, and things like that. He felt a lot of those trees were going to die anyway, so he went through there and cleared them out,” Washington Police Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said.
The trees were not on his property. Since 2007, residents have had to ask for permission to have a tree removed from public property located between their property and the river. If the city agreed, the homeowner would paid for the work.
Detectives said the suspect said he didn’t know the rules.